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'We can't let this happen': Protesters share personal stories after Roe v. Wade overturned

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Posted at 6:43 AM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 06:48:50-04

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — The weekend ended as it began: with protesters taking to the streets across the country, as millions of people continue to express their anger over the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to strike down Roe v. Wade.

On Sunday in Frankfort, hundreds of people gathered in front of the State Capitol, where Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) had touted the ruling just days ago.

"As of this morning," Cameron said Friday. "Except when the health of a mother is at risk, abortion is no longer lawful in the Commonwealth."

Many people who attended the rally Sunday had anticipated the ruling, but they were still trying to make sense of their new reality.

"It's crazy that we're having to do this," said Rheanna Cagle, who drove from London to attend the rally. "It's crazy that we're back to a time where we're having to fight for our rights as women."

During the rally, several people took turns sharing deeply personal stories about how the ruling could shape their lives.

One woman, who identified herself to the crowd as Elizabeth, fought through tears, as she revealed she was recently raped.

"I had the chance to take Plan B," she said. "And I am so glad that I did not let my rapist have that power over me and that I'm not sitting here today afraid to get an abortion."

Kentucky's anti-abortion law does not allow for exceptions in the case of rape and incest.

"It's almost beyond morbid at this point," said Katima Smith-Willis.

Smith-Willis organized the event Sunday. She told LEX 18 she had recently taken a mental health break, but was inspired to act in the wake of the SCOTUS ruling.

"[I'm] still a little discouraged," she said. "Still a little tired, but it put a little fire under my tail."

Other rally attendees opined that the ruling reflected the attitudes of those in power toward women.

"We're second-class citizens and have been for years," said Lisa Pettrey.